For the 24th year, Grandpa’s Corn Maze is open for the people of the Billings area to explore, and this year the owners chose to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park in its design.
Every year, Phil and Mindi Hopkins get familiar with their different visitors. As time passes on, they have built relationships with multiple generations of families.
“We’ve been at this long enough now that people who used to come out here as early teens are now bringing their kids out,” Phil said.
The maze is located off of 58th Street West and people have been “getting lost” for the past two decades. The Hopkinses pick a new theme each year, and for Mindi, it’s a special time to be able to work with her husband.
“I just like him, and it’s fun to see his ideas and to see a part of him that you normally wouldn’t see,” said Mindi.
It isn’t always an easy business though. The couple constantly battles with weather and wildlife to make sure that the design remains intact.
“It’s not without its headaches and a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into it, but there is a lot of happy experiences,” Phil said.
In fact, the pumpkin patch has not been opened yet because the pumpkins have struggled to grow because of the weather.
“Due to that hail storm, we’re trying to give them a few more weeks of growing time on the vine. People expect some big stuff out there so we don’t want to disappoint,” Phil said.
For visitors like Mandy Nard, arriving at the property and finding all of the other activities can be a pleasant surprise.
“When you hear about it you kind of assume all it is the corn maze, but you actually get out here and there’s the rides, there’s a lot of things for kids. I do like that they try to make it a good family-friendly event and something for everybody,” Nard said.
The owners said that’s exactly why they do it. For them, it’s about more than just a corn maze.
“Enjoy some time together, instead of just in front of their screens. I know that’s a battle at our house is screen time. So, this is more scream time maybe than screen time,” Phil said.
The Hopkinses admit that the hard work is worth it when they see the happiness of their visitors. It’s those smiles that keep them coming back for more.
“To see these groups or families come in and leave with smiles on their faces that’s what makes it worth it to me,” Mindi said.
The corn maze is open Wednesday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.